Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

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Predestination Frustration

Monday, July 13, 2015

My pastor preaches that we are predestined (Eph 1:5). If this is true, then what is the point of serving God? For example, there is a Heaven and a Hell. God knows all of us; our goods, our bads, our evil intents, and our godly works. He knows our hearts, our minds, and our souls.  The Bible says that God knows each hair on our head. So why try to win a race that God has chosen for us to win or lose, knowing that no matter how hard we try, we are not going to get the prize?

What do I mean? I have four kids, three girls and one boy. I have my kids run a foot race. My youngest daughter wins the race, but my son comes in last. I announce that the loser gets the prize. I have another race; my son comes in first. This time, I announce that the prize is given to the first place winner. I have a third race, and my son comes in third; I announce that the prize goes to the third place winner. After a while, the others catch on to the scheme that no matter what place they come in, it was predetermined and predestined for my son to win.

My wife is abusive, and my pastor tells me that I should "go through it for God" and that Jesus took it so "who am I to not go through it?”.

I am an inch away from giving up on religion all together. Am I missing something?

Sincerely, Deciding My Own Destiny

Dear Deciding My Own Destiny,

Yes, you are missing something – the Truth. Your pastor is wrong. The doctrine of ‘specific predestination’ is a man-made idea. If God specifically chooses certain people to be saved, then Jesus didn’t really die for everyone… but the Bible says He did (Jhn 3:16-17). It also means that God punishes people for things they have no control over… but the Bible says you have a choice (Josh 24:15). It also would mean that God doesn’t want everyone to be saved… but the Bible says He does (Ezek 18:23).

It is true that God predestined something before He created the universe. He predestined how people would be saved – in Christ (Eph 1:5). God planned, before He made anything, that all of mankind would be saved in Christ (Jhn 14:6). God chose how you would be saved; you must choose whether you will accept His salvation. The doctrine of predestination is a man-made lie that robs people of their hope, their freewill service to God, and the truth. If God decided specifically who was going to be saved before He ever created the world, then what is the point of Him commanding us to follow His Word (Jhn 15:14)? He commands us to follow because He wants us to choose to follow.

I’m very sorry to hear of your marital problems. Without knowing the specifics, I cannot give you any particular advice, but I can say that I wouldn’t trust advice from a religious leader who teaches false doctrine. Don’t give up on religion; give up on false religion. For an overview of what to look for in a faithful church, see this previous post.

Feel free to e-mail us at askyourpreacher@mvchurchofchrist.org if you would like help finding a faithful congregation in your area.

Day 139 - Luke 2

Friday, July 10, 2015

5 minutes a day 5 days a week All the New Testament in a year

Day 138 - Luke 1

Thursday, July 09, 2015

5 minutes a day 5 days a week All the New Testament in a year

Seeing Red

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Why is it that talking to certain christians is a lot like talking to a communist?

Sincerely, Comrade

Dear Comrade,

There are three possible reasons:

  1. Many christians are communists. Cuban christians are communists. Chinese christians are communists. Christians can be found amongst all the nations of the world. Christ died for us all, whether slave or free, Jew or Gentile (Col 3:10-11). Perhaps, you have been visiting these places lately and met a christian to talk to there. That would explain why they sounded that way.
  2. Communists are also known for their belief in a unified government under a single party. That would be similar to Christianity. Christians all serve Christ as the head of the church (Eph 5:23), and within the church we are all equals and servants one of another (Matt 23:8). If you really wanted to stretch the idea, you could say that Christianity completes the utopia that Karl Marx wished for (but failed to achieve). In Christ, all are equal, all help each other, and all have hope. Maybe that is why you feel that talking to certain christians is like talking to a communist.
  3. It could just be that you are attempting to be rude and mean.

Let us hope that it isn’t the last one.

Day 137 - Colossians 4

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

5 minutes a day 5 days a week All the New Testament in a year

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